Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calendar* Correction: Bob Hite

Bob Hite, the rather large lead singer of Canned Heat, unfortunately has a lot of misinformation about him.  You will see several reports on the Internet that he was born on February 26, 1945, and that he died April 5 or April 16 of 1981 in Hollywood. 

Hite was indeed born February 26, but it was in 1943, not 1945, according to the book The Tombstone Tourist:  Musicians by Scott Stanton, as well as The Blues Hall of Fame.  The newspaper The New York Times, in publishing an Associated Press story dated the date of his death, April 6, 1981, reported that Hite was 38 at the time of his death, which confirms that he was born in 1943 (1981 - 1943 = 38 years old). 

Hite died of a heart attack brought on by drugs April 6, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.    Some websites report that Hite died on April 5, and others on April 16.  Websites also report that he died in Hollywood.  This is the truth as close as we can piece it together: 

Canned Heat performed April 5 at the Palomino Club in Hollywood.  In between sets, Hite was given a drug vile by a fan backstage.  Thinking it was cocaine, he snorted it up his nose.  The vile was heroin, and Hite immediately collapsed.  Hite's condition was further compromised when fans fed him cocaine, which he impulsively snorted.  Hite was then loaded into his van, and taken to a nearby home in Los Angeles.  Hite died in the back of the van there, and the place of death of Los Angeles is confirmed by the Blues Hall of Fame.  Hite died on April 6, also according to Scott Stanton's book, The Blues Hall of Fame, as well as the newspapers The New York Times and The Independent.

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